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Dr. Stainamere's Weltzday


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OKAY, quick backstory. A few months ago, I bought the book Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction (I strongly recommend it for anyone wishing to write any kind of fiction), and there was an assignment to write something based around an image. And what resulted, I came to realize tonight, seemed more like it had come from a prolonged period of wisdom from Sumiki's Dad. Anywho, here is  a short story (un)worthy of Dalí and Sumiki's Dad:


Dr. Stainamere's Weltzday


         Dr. Stainamere opened the second cage, hoping that he would have more luck than he had with the first one. Yes, he had forgiven Intensity for biting his finger as he’d retrieved her, but he did not think he would be as lenient if Fervor also bit him. Especially because he preferred Fervor over Intensity, but he would never tell the two of them. Luckily, Fervor leaped from the comically small swing inside the cage and onto his extended palm. His claws dug into Dr. Stainameres’ open palm, and he winced slightly; he had always found it funny that even though he had surrounded himself by parrots, cockatoos, and other birds for over three centuries now, he still got hurt by their seemingly benign feet. He moved Fervor from his hand to his shoulder, made sure that both Fervor and Intensity were comfortably holding on to his dragon-hide coat, and then left the room.

         As he walked down the narrow steps, he gave a long sigh at remembering that it was the twenty-fourth day of the month; this meant that his schedule was completely booked. Not only would he have to train Fervor and Intensity to recite three jokes about pine trees, but he also had to clean out the trash dispensary, dance to the Gods of Sorrow for a good showing of elks in the neighbouring Laundry Woods, write two symphonies composed underwater, and run through the list of candidates for the post of Town Crier. It was this last assignment that he dreaded the most, as many of the candidates who showed up every twenty-fourth day of the month were either grossly under qualified, or simply had no concept of what it really meant to be Town Crier.

         Dr. Stainamere finally reached his study, and pushed aside the soap statues of satyrs and merpeople that littered the room at the moment. He remembered the room was cluttered, but he could not believe he had let it become so filled up that he had to push statues away to open up a path across the study. The smell of lilacs and lead was too strong however, so he decided to get rid of a few of the statues right there and then; yes, they were beautiful works of art he had enjoyed carving out, but the smell of the soap was too strong for him to think rationally. He opened up one of the triangular windows and looked down. He often forgot that the studio was on the fifty-seventh floor of the Building of Wretchedness, but alas, he noticed himself forgetting many things recently. He made a mental note to take extract of pumice to remedy such a malady, then realized he’d probably forget the thought as soon as he walked out of the study. He made the mental note anyway.

         “Ah, there you are!” he exclaimed, though whether he was talking to himself or to Fervor and Intensity was unclear. His billowing dragon hide coat turned with him as he began to walk towards the quartz desk, upon which lay three tomes, one of them open. The three books were always necessary for the selection of the Town Crier; The History of Our Fabulous Nation because it listed the past of their idyllic country, Town Criers and their Many Uses in case the Town Crier in question finally became expendable, and The Act Of Cryeying which was, of course, the how-to guide that any aspiring Town Crier had to have had completely memorized if they ever hoped to achieve the prestigious position. The books were worn, and the pages were so creased and torn that it looked as if they would come apart if someone as much as lifted them from the table. However, this was no concern of Dr. Stainamere’s, who was only thinking about getting the interviews done with so that he could move on to reciting the three jokes about pine trees. He snatched the tomes from the desk and strode towards the door a bit quicker, now that he noticed that the sun was already setting. The day was about to begin, and when it did he’d better be by his post or the Ministry would have his head.

         Finally Dr. Stainamere reached the lowest room of the building, and stood behind the grand and ornate paper-mache door. The candy gems that decorated the door glinted off the dying rays of sunlight, and Dr. Stainamere thought to himself that, if ever his schedule allowed it, he might perhaps one day come down to this room and simply admire the beautiful door. Today was not one of those days, however, and as he composed himself to greet the candidates, the ceremonial halo customary of the Town Crier selection process descended upon his head until it stayed floating above his head, anchored to his temple by the unknown and misunderstood forces of our universe that were, are, and will be ever so present. Dr. Stainamere put his bruised palm on the door and pushed, and as he entered he was greeted by an odd sight.

         There was only one candidate present! The candidate was large, looking like a fish out of the water, though his fins extended to become bat-like wings. He had no legs, instead using his short and stubby tail to jump across the room. His polka-dot hide of red and white briefly distracted Dr. Stainamere even more, but finally he regained his senses and got on with the interview.

         “So…” he began, briefly forgetting the correct words to begin the rite. “You have come here, upon the House of the Ministry, for the purpose of becoming our next Town Crier. Are you aware of what this position entails?”

        “Yes, sir, I am,” replied the candidate, following the scrip that so many other candidates had followed for eons past.

         “Are you willing to devote your every thought, your every action, your every soul to this position?” asked Dr. Stainamere, with a hint of boredom in his voice that he did not bother to hide.

         “Yes, sir, I am.”

         “In that case, I ask now that you deliver the ceremonious chant for the Witnesses.” At these words, the candidate shifted slightly to get himself straightened out, extended his wings which now covered the entire expanse of the room lengthwise, and began to sing.

         With his hand clasped over his mouth, Dr. Stainamere stood back and enjoyed the singing while Fervor and Intensity began the process of judging. The song selected by this specific candidate was about a beautiful woman, poor but pure of heart, who happened one day to be spurred by the Goddesses Chance and Fate to meet a young man who was to be wed to another. They fell in deep and romantic love by the Volcanoes of Garn, the song told. But, The Stag of Destiny decided that this could not be, and sent upon them a boy from the town who discovered them and, being young and innocent, understood not what had happened and reported them to the town elders. The town elders, very clearly distraught, sent for the young man to be thrown into the volcano as per laws in the town, and the young woman was taken by her family and thrust into the nunnery run by the Sisters of the Swamp, never to be seen or heard from again except for nine months afterwards when the family received a crying and fragile basket by their doorstep, along with a note that, according to the song, simply read: ‘Love her as you could never love me.’

         Slowly, the candidate’s wings receded as the dying last notes left his gills. He stood there, anxiously looking at Dr. Stainamere and at Fervor and Intensity.

         “Yes, we find this story pleasing. It has pierced into our souls and we commend you, candidate,” they both said in unison. They ruffled their multicolored feathers a bit, and then stood still and silent once again. Dr. Stainamere looked at the candidate and produced a small smile.

         “Congratulations, then, Town Crier. We thank you for all your future services.” At the mention of these words, the three tomes opened up and began to float around the candidate, as the printed words floated off the pages and began to wash over the candidate. He stayed completely still as the pores on his body imbibed the ink. Finally, when enough of the printed liquid knowledge had permeated through his being, the remaining ink floated back into the open and empty pages of the books, and they returned to Dr. Stainameres’ hand. Then, in a flash of light, the new Town Crier was gone, ready to begin his month-long job until he was supplanted by a new Town Crier, as was customary. Fervor and Intensity had already fallen asleep, and Dr. Stainamere knew that before he continued with his day he’d have to leave them both in their cages. He turned and was met by the calendar on the wall. He looked at it and noticed how it pointed out that only a few hours of the day had passed on this Weltzday, the twenty-fourth day of the month. He sighed and proceeded up the stairs.


Thoughts? Comments? Criticisms? Concerns (for my sanity)?

Edited by Zatth
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